pigeon brain

presents and presence.

No gifts we said last Christmas.

We wrapped up some empty boxes and paper towel tubes for Ralph and placed them under the tree.

Aaron thought I was in the basement when he walked in from the garage on Christmas Eve with a coffee table built by our friend Lisa, an item I’d coveted for ages.

What the hell?! I said. We said no gifts.

This isn’t a gift! He insisted. It’s a surprise.

Aaron was wonderful at surprises. Well, most of the time. After his first surgery, he’d reached out to a stranger in Sweden, a guy famous in some circles for designing logos for metal bands. Aaron had asked him to design a tattoo of my name, but he didn’t ask him not to first post the design on Facebook and tag him. Oops.

I only saw Aaron angry once the entire time we were together. The doctor had called to schedule his second brain surgery, and I told Aaron it would be early on the morning of the 26th. He screamed. Threw things across the room. Wept. 

It’s going to ruin your birthday he said.

Two days after his second brain surgery, he had a mutual friend pick me up from the hospital.

You’re going out, dammit. He insisted. 

And so I went. Not to dinner, but to an empty movie theater, rented out and filled with our friends and family, screening Dumb & Dumber just for me.


I am mourning Aaron, and part of that is mourning the belonging to him, that I was the person he surprised, that he thought of so deliberately.

This week I opened an oddly-shaped box and saw the Taylor Swift 1989 vinyl he’d ordered for us had finally arrived, one last sweet surprise from the great beyond. I cried. And laughed.

Today is one month since he died, and our living room was filled with more presents than I’ve ever received since childhood. 

I opened the smallest one last, an unfamiliar envelope from an unfamiliar address.

Dear Nora,

We don’t know one another and sadly, I never got the chance to meet Aaron. Here’s a story I’d like to share with you: a few weeks ago, I posted a photo on Instagram of some gold rings I made special for the holidays (I’m a local jewelry designer/maker). I got a bunch of comments, including one from a guy who asked if they could be custom sized and that he needed to find out his wife’s ring size ASAP. 

I responded and didn’t think much of it until my Facebook feed started to flood with your names and story. I followed links, read your blog and connected the dots.

It was Aaron who left the comment.

I was moved so deeply by your story (and him) that I felt compelled to reach out to you.

So, please accept this gift. I’m so very sure he would have wanted you to have it. I will happily size the ring if it doesn’t fit, so feel free to contact me whenever.

You are in my thoughts,



Carrier Pigeon Jewelry

The ring is a delicate gold band, absolutely my style, and it fits perfectly.


*contains little spoilers so avoid if you’d rather not read*

So Feyre has to wear gloves to the wedding, right? She has to cover the deal she made in order to appease Tamlin and everyone else there. A small part of her even wants to cover it for shame at what she had to do.

But look how symbolic those gloves are. People wanted her to cover the one deal that helped in so many ways. Without that deal, no one would be free. Without that deal, they’d all be trapped forever. She SACRIFICED for these people and just because her arm resembles this deal THAT SAVED THEM ALL IN RETROSPECT, she has to hide it.

Sorry but that seriously disgusts me. They’re all so pigeon brained as to what SHE SACRIFICED IN ORDER TO FREE THEM that they treat her badly and force her to “cover her shame” (in a sense).

Sorry but I had to go on a small rant because .. Well … Symbolism.

So, Apparently: Voltron

So, apparently, while writing my Kiki’s Delivery Service crossover AU, I decided that I have a headcanon for how Pidge got their name.

Being competitive siblings who aspired to be in the same field, Matt and Katie Holt had several faux-condescending nicknames for one another. Matt was especially fond of Bird Brain when they were growing up, but Katie retaliated by listing all the bird species who were almost as intelligent or actually as intelligent as humans on some level. Matt, annoyed with her perfectionism, settled for calling her by the name of a very specific bird species. One nobody considered all that intelligent. And thus, the name Pigeon Brain was born. This name eventually devolved into the shorter, quicker Pidge. It was what Matt called her and nobody else, and so when she infiltrated the Garrison, it was only natural that she’d think of it as the best fake name to keep her undetected.